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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48190
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I've been going through a redundancy consultation, and a position

Customer Question

I've been going through a redundancy consultation, and a position within the organisation was presented to me as an "alternative" rather than a suitable alternative. The job itself is around 85% what I currently do, and after a long exchange where my employer implied the job wasn't suitable due to my performance rather than my ability to do this (even though my performance review for the year is nowhere near completion) and with me stating clearly that this is not reasonable behaviour, they have made a U-Turn and offered this to me as a suitable alternative, but say that I need to be interviewed for the role and made to take a test, in addition to the 4 week trial period, even though I am the only person within the organisation who is being offered the role.
I feel this is a last attempt by the employer to prevent giving me the role which I already do, and feel that this could be classed as unreasonable behaviour by the employer.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.
How can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I need to know if the employer is being fair and reasonable by saying that I need to take an interview and a test when this has been offered to me alone as suitable alternative employment during a redundancy process and is very close to what job I do already.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** my colleague has asked me to assist with your query as it is more my area of law. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've just completed 4 years there
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. When you are offered a suitable alternative position as part of a redundancy exercise, this offer only extends to applying for the job in question. Being offered a job does not mean you are guaranteed to be placed in it and the employer can still apply a selection procedure to determine if you ae suitable for it. This could take the form of competitive interview process or scoring on a matrix-based scoring system where certain performance or other criteria are scored. So it is possible for the employer to put you through an interview process for the job, even if you are the only person who could do this job. In fact they could still interview outside candidates at the same time as you and select the most appropriate one for the job, so you are not guaranteed such a position, even if it is considered suitable. The focus then shifts on how your selection was undertaken – was the interviewing process fair and objective and if you were rejected – were the reasons for this fair. If you believe the rejection was unfair then you have the right to take the matter further. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have should this result in redundancy, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben,Thanks for your detailed response. I think my argument is based around being the sole person (and them confirming that no other candidates are being considered at this time) plus the fact that this is a suitable alternative and also this is currently significantly close to what I do, could asking for an interview and a test in addition to a trial period be possibly considered as unreasonable by the employer bearing in mind previously the employer had made significant steps not to offer me it as a suitable alternative?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Considering the history it could be used to build a case that they are just acting unreasonably to try and prevent you from getting the job and pushing for redundancy, but it would all become clearer once the final decision is made. Hope this clarifies?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes it does Ben, thank you. I'm sure I'll be in touch again next week after my next consultation meeting! Worth the 5 stars!
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
many thanks, ***** ***** best and if you need further hep please start your question with my name so it gets to me, thanks
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48190
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben,After reviewing the notes from the last meeting, it seems like they have served notice of redundancy to me. I've questioned under what conditions in their policy they would serve notice.According to the policy there's a section about notification of redundancy as follows:NOTIFICATION OF REDUNDANCY
If no “suitable alternative employment” or other vacancies exist, or the employee at risk of redundancy has been unsuccessful in applying for such posts, s/he will be asked to attend a meeting with the Head of HR and the Manager and:
Will be informed that their contract of employment must be terminated for reasons of redundancy;
Given notice in line with the current contract of employment;
Informed of the right to appeal against the redundancy decision and the process for doing this;
Informed of their eligibility for a redundancy payment;
Advised that reasonable time off will be given to search for alternative employment up to the date the contract ends.
The Manager is responsible for providing all relevant information for the purposes of calculating the redundancy payment to the HR Department, who will confirm the details in writing to the employee.----------------When I asked for clarification, the question was ignored twice, and finally when I asked for a 3rd time I got this response:"There a distinction between confirmation of redundancy of a post and informing someone that their contract of employment must be terminated for reasons of redundancy. The Policy is clear. We have clearly confirmed in writing redundancy of your post but not that your contract of employment must be terminated. This only occurs if no “suitable alternative employment” or other vacancies exist, if the employee at risk of redundancy chooses not to put themselves forward for the SAE, or has been unsuccessful in applying for such posts.
Your current contract of employment has not been terminated and you are contracted to work as usual and report as usual to your line manager. This remains the position until either:
· a transition plan has been agreed between your current role and that of Junior Developer (if you are successful in applying for it); or
· (if you choose not to put yourself forward for the SAE, or are unsuccessful in applying for it) you are informed that your contract of employment must be terminated for reasons of redundancy"What is the difference, and have they gone against their own policy. I've checked and there's no other mention of serving notice of redundancy in the policy.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hi I do agree with the employer that unless they have officially told you that your employment is being terminated by reason of redundancy, given you your end date of employment and the chance to appal etc it would not be treated as formal notification of termination of employment. There is indeed a difference between confirming a position will be made redundant and terminating someone’s employment as a result of this. The employer could state that a position has been made redundant but that does not automatically mean the contract will terminate as well with notice from that date – the position could still remain in place for a period of time until the employer decides to terminate the employment.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Ben,
I think the terminology here is confusing me - knowing the difference. The company policy also didn't make things clear either.Thanks for the clarification
Andy
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Yes I understand that but for notice of termination to be effective it must be clear and unambiguous and looking at what has happened it is unlikely it will amount to formal notice of termination